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August 26, 2003

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I think it’s getting to the point where the whole punk-laced-with-hardcore-screaming-and-bursts-of-poppy-melody is getting way overplayed, to the point of exhaustion. There’s nothing wrong with the style, especially when it’s done well (bands like Thursday, Haste, etc.), but more often than not, it seems to be a hackneyed way of expressing teen angst.

I’m split straight down the middle on Strike Anywhere’s newest release from Jade Tree. On one hand, it’s a tight, well-executed album of the aforementioned style, rife with political subtext and amazingly tight production. On the other hand, it’s not really any different from other bands that do this particular style. That’s what makes it so hard for me to review this album. It’s good, no doubt, and I’m entirely sure that this band is completely sincere, but it’s hard for me to take this album seriously because I’ve heard it so many other times. If everybody’s screaming, how are we to determine one voice from the next? If you want to be heard, sometimes you just have to try whispering.

Key Song: They’re all well written but none stand out among the others really.

1340 Mag

Rick Arnow